NHL Insider: Tomas Vokoun Shark Bait? Craig MacTavish Atlanta-Bound?
With all that is the Stanley Cup Playoffs, how could we as Hockey fans even think of anything else to talk about? But, the fact remains there were 14 other teams that didn't qualify for the postseason, and for them it is business as usual.
While clubs like Montreal, Colorado and Ottawa seem to be the real life music video to Spoon's song "The Underdog" the clubs they are facing will be making some major changes if they are indeed eliminated in the first round.
Which means, with names like Thomas Vokoun, Robyn Regehr and Sheldon Souray being tossed around, there will be some serious tire kicking going on by clubs that see themselves as contenders.
With that being said, here is a look at the latest rumours from around the NHL.
Tomas Vokoun To Be Traded
It was reported today on Sportsnet that the Florida Panthers will move goaltender Tomas Vokoun before the NHL Entry Draft, and there will be some interest from numerous teams for his services despite the $5.7 million he is set to make next season.
Vokoun was undoubtedly the Panthers' best player again this season, going 23-28-11 while posting a 2.55 goals against average, a .925 save percentage and seven shutouts on a less than average team.
If the Sharks have another disappointing playoffs, look for them to show some interest in the 33-year-old Czech tender, especially with Evgeni Nabokov set to become a UFA this summer.
Another team that may have a stake in where Vokoun ends up would be the Philadelphia Flyers, who desperately need a No.1 goalie despite the efforts of Brian Boucher, as Ray Emery most likely won't be resigned.
Although, Marty Turco's name has been thrown around in Philly as well, for he has won a Cup, and would come much cheaper than the aforementioned Vokoun.
Robyn Regehr Coming up on the Radar
While the Calgary Flames are destined to make some changes in the off season, don't look for them to be overly drastic and clean house completely.
That being said, 29-year-old defenseman Robyn Regehr, who has spent his entire career with Calgary, looks to be on the move.
The Flyers are a club that will be interested, as well as the Colorado Avalanche and Anaheim Ducks, who are set to face some big changes on their bluelines come July 1st.
It may be unlikely that the Flames would deal within the division, but they did acquire Steve Staois from the Edmonton Oilers this year, so anything is possible when hell freezes over.
Sheldon Souray May Find Out That the Pens Are Mightier Than the Sword
Speaking about those Edmonton Oilers, while it is well known Sheldon Souray is on his way out, interest may be limited with his $5.4 million contract and his bad attitude.
Though, if the Pittsburgh Penguins can't resign Sergei Gonchar, then Souray may be their man.
With the plethora of young talent the Penguins could ship to the Oilers, it may be a deal that fits the bill of both clubs.
If Anaheim's Scott Niedermayer retires, and Atlanta loses Pavel Kubina to free agency, don't be surprised to see those teams in the Souray mix as well.
That is unless Souray says sorry.
Thrashers Need To Make a Splash Come July 1st
If the Thrashers don't sign a big name free agent or two come July 1st, don't expect the struggling franchise to call Atlanta their home much longer.
With names like Patrick Marleau, Alexander Frolov and Milan Hejduk set to be UFAs and some big ticket restricted free agents as well, Atlanta needs to take a step forward in order to improve.
They have a ton of cap space available for the upcoming 2010-11 season, now they need to put it to good use.
First things first though, they need to find a coach!
Craig MacTavish, who will coach the Thrashers Evander Kane and Rich Peverley at the upcoming World Championships, could be their man.
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